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Mar 20, 2013

ADVFN III Evening Markets Euro Markets Bulletin March 20, 2013.


ADVFN III Evening Euro Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial news Wednesday, 20 March 2013


London Market Report
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Markets subdued in Budget aftermath

    Market Movers
    techMARK 2,397.99 +0.06%
    FTSE 100 6,432.70 -0.13%
    FTSE 250 14,030.68 -0.04%
Markets on the whole gave a muted reaction to George Osborne's Budget Statement today, in which he warned that Britain would grow less and borrow more than originally estimated, while traders continued to digest developments elsewhere, including the Cypriot bailout and a meeting at the US Federal Reserve.

Cypriot parliament last night voted to reject a €10bn bailout deal that included a tax on bank accounts. Though this outcome was widely expected, it raises the pressure on the government to come up with a 'plan B', or else face a default and subsequent exit from the Eurozone.

Stocks across Europe started the day strongly on reports that Cypriot leaders are seeking financial assistance from the Kremlin possibly in exchange for gas exploration rights. However, these gains were quickly pared ahead of the Budget announcement just after midday.

No change in policy is expected from the Federal Open Market Committee later today, despite concerns over the last few months that improving data in the US labour market could prompt the central bank to scale back its quantitative easing (QE) programme. Stocks on Wall Street started strongly on Wednesday as traders wait to hear clues from Chairman Ben Bernanke as to whether he intends to change the Fed's stance on current stimulus measures.

Traders also had to digest the minutes of the latest Monetary Policy Commitee meeting which showed that the vote over QE was again split, with members voting six-to-three in favour of keeping the asset purchase programme at £375bn.
All eyes on Osborne
There were few surprises from the Chancellor's Budget in the House of Commons on Wednesday, partly because details were leaked out in a London newspaper even before his speech had started. Osborne said that there remains “much more to do” and a recovery was taking “longer than anyone hoped”.

A number of proposals were put forward to boost the economy, including: a cut in corporation tax; an increase in the tax-free allowance; cancelling the fuel-duty rise due in September; abolishing stamp duty on growth markets such as AIM; as well as measures to boost housing and infrastructure. He also modified the Bank of England's remit so that it can use QE to influence interest-rate expectations.

However, he did admit that the forecast for UK growth in 2013 had been trimmed for the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) from the 1.2% estimate in December to just 0.6%. The OBR also raised its estimate for borrowing this year by £6.0bn to £86.5bn.
Stocks react to Budget plans
House builders and construction stocks charged ahead today on the back of Osborne's promise to build more affordable housing, as well as his proposal to help people on to (and move up) the property ladder. Builders on the FTSE 250 were prevalent among the risers today, with Barratt Developments, Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Bellway, Bovis Homes and Redrow all finishing with decent gains.

CRH, the FTSE 100-listed building materials group, was also in demand after the Budget included plans to kick-start activity in the infrastructure industry, using extra savings from government departments to boost plans by £3.0bn a year from 2015-2016.

Meanwhile, pub owners Wetherspoon and Fuller, Smith & Turner were on the rise after beer was exempt from a rise in alcohol duty, with Osborne cutting the tax on the drink by one pence a pint.
ENRC slips after falling into the red in 2012
ENRC labelled 2012 as a "challenging year" as a swing into the red led to the miner scrapping its final dividend. The resources giant recorded a loss before tax of $550m, down from a profit of $2.76bn the year before, as it took impairment charges and an onerous contract provision totalling $1.54bn.

Royal Bank of Scotland was higher after Liberum Capital upgraded the stock to 'buy' with its target at 340p.

Smiths Group, the diversified industrial firm, edged higher after rewarding shareholders with a 6.0% increase in the dividend after posting a rise in half-year revenue and profit.

Bakery and hot snacks retailer Greggs slumped after serving up a mixed bag of results for 2012: full-year sales rose 4.8% while but profits slipped 2.2%.

A number of stocks were registering losses after going ex-dividend today, including Aviva, InterContinental Hotels and Lancashire.

AIM/Small Cap Report
FTSE 100 - Risers
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 300.20p +2.25%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,131.00p +1.98%
Schroders (SDR) 2,136.00p +1.81%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 117.30p +1.73%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,100.00p +1.66%
Polymetal International (POLY) 870.00p +1.46%
Capita (CPI) 912.00p +1.39%
CRH (CRH) 1,528.00p +1.39%
British Land Co (BLND) 552.50p +1.38%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 422.50p +1.29%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,773.00p -2.58%
Aviva (AV.) 315.00p -2.54%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 306.90p -1.85%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 262.40p -1.83%
Pearson (PSON) 1,170.00p -1.76%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,288.00p -1.59%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 889.00p -1.55%
BG Group (BG.) 1,169.50p -1.47%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 392.40p -1.43%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,970.00p -1.40%

FTSE 250 - Risers
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 255.60p +6.59%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 90.85p +6.13%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 161.10p +5.09%
Redrow (RDW) 191.40p +4.02%
Bellway (BWY) 1,230.00p +3.97%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,010.00p +3.96%
Betfair Group (BET) 723.00p +3.95%
Elementis (ELM) 275.00p +3.81%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 693.50p +3.12%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 486.60p +2.68%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Greggs (GRG) 480.00p -8.31%
Lancashire Holdings (LRE) 839.50p -7.65%
SEGRO (SGRO) 251.70p -4.84%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 235.50p -4.54%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 174.30p -4.02%
Lonmin (LMI) 300.00p -3.78%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 56.45p -3.75%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 140.70p -3.43%
Computacenter (CCC) 525.00p -3.40%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,459.00p -3.38%

Europe Market Report
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European Markets Mostly Higher Wednesday, Following 3-Session Decline

The majority of the European markets finished to the upside on Wednesday, following the pull back of the previous three trading sessions. One notable exception was the FTSE 100 of the U.K., following the 2013 budget presented by U.K. Chancellor George Osborne. Banks were among the best performing stocks Wednesday, despite the uncertainty that continues to cloud the situation in Cyprus. Investors will be watching for today's announcement from the FOMC and the comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Cyprus' Parliament on Tuesday rejected a proposed levy on bank deposits in return for a EUR 10 billion European bailout, putting the rescue deal in shambles. Lawmakers voted 36-0 to reject the bill, while the ruling party abstained.

Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also the Dutch Finance Minister, said the EU stands ready to help Cyprus, provided it adhere to the bailout conditions. "I take note of the decision of the Cypriot parliament on the government's proposal for a oneoff stability levy," Dijsselbloem said in a statement.

"I confirm that the Eurogroup stands ready to assist Cyprus in its reform efforts and reiterate the position of the Eurogroup as I stated yesterday," he added.

However, the European Central Bank, in a brief statement on Tuesday, said that it will provide liquidity for Cypriot banks, "as needed within the existing rules."

Under the bailout deal agreed on March 16, the Eurogroup wanted Cyprus government to impose a 9.9 percent tax on bank deposits above EUR 100,000 and a tax of 6.75 percent on deposits below that amount. The plan sparked widespread anger among Cypriots.

On Monday, however, Eurozone finance ministers signaled some flexibility as they urged Cypriot government to treat small depositors differently from large depositors. Nonetheless, it stuck to the condition that Cyprus should raise EUR 5.8 billion from the levy.

The government declared a temporary bank holiday in Cyprus on March 19 and 20 to prevent massive withdrawal of funds.

European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny reportedly urged Cyprus to act rationally while dealing with the EU bailout plan. The country, being a member of Eurozone, must show discipline and readiness to act rationally, he was quoted as saying in an interview to Austrian state television ORF.

The call for more stimulus from Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and two other policymakers was overturned by the other policymakers, as it was felt that further stimulus will lift the risk of inflation expectations and weigh on the pound, the minutes showed Wednesday.

At the meeting held on March 6 and 7, the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee unanimously decided to maintain the record low 0.50 percent interest rate.

As seen in February, King, Paul Fisher and David Miles sought an increase in asset purchases by GBP 25 billion to a total GBP 400 billion, while six other members voted to retain the asset purchase programme at GBP 375 billion.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks increased by 1.42 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.36 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed by 0.68 percent and the CAC 40 of France advanced by 1.43 percent. The SMI of Switzerland gained 0.75 percent, but the FTSE 100 of the U.K. fell by 0.06 percent.

In Frankfurt, Commerzbank finished higher by 1.26 percent. Deutsche Bank added 1.59 percent, after stating that higher litigation provisions have reduced its pre-tax income and net income for 2012.

Air Berlin declined by 0.43 percent. The airline has decided to realign the entire group and plans to eliminate around 900 jobs.

Metro dropped by 2.31 percent. The company's annual profit dropped and the dividend was cut. Dialog Semiconductor was upgraded to ''Buy'' from ''Hold'' at Berenberg. The stock surged by 4.75 percent.

In Paris, Societe Generale climbed by 1.51 percent. Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas advanced by 2.21 percent and 3.56 percent, respectively.

In London, J Sainsbury gained 0.86 percent, following a broker upgrade. Centrica fell by 0.69 percent, after Citigroup downgraded its rating on the stock to "Neutral" from "Buy." Elementis rose by 3.81 percent, after a positive broker recommendation.

Eurasian Natural Resources dropped by 1.89 percent. The miner slipped to a loss in its fiscal 2012 and decided not to declare a final dividend. Dufry climbed by 3.26 percent in Zurich. The stock was upgraded to ''Buy'' from ''Neutral'' at UBS.

US Market Report
Stocks Remain Mostly Positive In Mid-Day Trading

With traders shrugging off worries about the situation in Cyprus ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement, stocks are mostly higher in mid-day trading on Wednesday after showing a strong move to the upside at the open.

The major averages have pulled back off their best levels of the day but currently remain firmly in positive territory. The Dow is up 55.94 points or 0.4 percent at 14,511.76, the Nasdaq is up 15.01 points or 0.5 percent at 3,244.11 and the S&P 500 is up 8.00 points or 0.5 percent at 1,556.34.

The strength on Wall Street comes as traders shrug off concerns about the situation in Cyprus amid optimism that the Mediterranean island nation will eventually reach an agreement to avoid default even if it means looking to Russia for a new loan instead of the EU.

"Cyprus will either find new (Russian) sources of capital or it will agree to a slightly modified rescue package," Commerzbank economists Jörg Krämer and Christoph Weil said in a research note. "No one can rule out the possibility of negotiations failing again though."

Traders are also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's announcement of its latest monetary policy decision at about 2 pm ET. The announcement will be followed by a press conference by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

While the Fed is widely expected to maintain its existing policy, traders will be looking for any indications of when the central bank intends to start winding down its quantitative easing program.

Among individual stocks, shares of Adobe Systems (ADBE) have moved notably higher after the software developer reported first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates. Adobe is currently up by 3.7 percent after reaching a four-year high.

BlackBerry (BBRY) is also turning in a strong performance after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the smartphone maker to Overweight from Underweight.

On the other hand, delivery giant FedEx (FDX) has come under pressure after reporting weaker than expected third quarter earnings and providing disappointing fourth quarter guidance. Shares of FedEx have fallen by 5.9 percent to a nearly two-month low.

Sector News

Housing stocks continue to see considerable strength in mid-day trading, resulting in a 1.8 percent gain by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. The gain extends a recent upward trend by the index, which has risen to its best intraday level in well over five years.

Lennar (LEN) is turning in one of the housing sector's best performances, with the homebuilder up by 4 percent after reporting better than expected first quarter earnings.

Significant strength has also emerged among airline stocks, which are also extending a recent move to the upside. The NYSE Arca Airline Index has advanced by 1.4 percent to a new six-year intraday high.

Brokerage, internet, and pharmaceutical stocks are also posting notable gains on the day, while most of the other major sectors have shown more modest moves to the upside.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance on Wednesday, with the Japanese market closed for a public holiday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 1 percent, while Australia's All Ordinaries Index fell by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed off their worst levels of the day but continue to see modest weakness. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.1 basis points at 1.929 percent.

Thursday preview: Ted Baker to unveil annual profit rise
British fashion brand Ted Baker is set to report a 17 per cent hike in annual sales on Thursday, according to analysts.

The designer label is expected to announce sales of £253m for 2012 as it reaps the rewards of its new online offering and recent expansion in the UK, US and Asia.

Full-year pre-tax profits are forecast to rise by 30% to £31.5m.

It comes after the company revealed its festive trading results which showed sales rise by a fifth. Internet sales jumped by 50% on the previous year.

The company had said part of the sales growth was a result of the chain expanding in the UK as it increased its floor space by almost 14% during the Christmas period.

Oriel Securities analyst Alistair Davies said Ted Baker’s investment in online services was “paying off”.

"Ted Baker remains ahead of the wider sector. Investments online and overseas are helping the brand build traction and deliver better than expected top-line growth," he said.

Thursday March 21st

INTERIMS
Ultimate Finance Group

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Total SA

Q4
London Mining

GMS
Edge Performance VCT 'C' Shares

FINALS
32Red, Alliance Pharma, Barr (A.G.), BrainJuicer Group, Cyprotex, EMIS Group, Inspired Energy, Lamprell, London Mining, Mecom Group, Next, Portmeirion Group, Premier Farnell, Premier Oil, Robinson, Scisys, Skyepharma, Sopheon, Ted Baker

ANNUAL REPORT
Barclays


EGMS
Banco de Chile ADR, Jubilant Energy

AGMS
Agriterra LD, Banco de Chile ADR, Henderson Opportunities Trust, Jarvis Securities, Pires Investments

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS
United Utilities Group

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
CBI Industrial Trends Surveys (11:00)
Public Sector Finances (09:30)
Retail Sales (09:30)

Cell Therapy Shows Promise for Acute Type of Leukemia: NYT | Global Update March 20, 2013.

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
March 20, 2013
Compiled 20:45 GMT

Global Update

TOP NEWS

Cell Therapy Shows Promise for Acute Type of Leukemia

By DENISE GRADY
Genetically altering a patient's immune cells has, for the first time, produced remissions in adults with a virulent blood cancer. In one patient, the disease vanished in eight days.

Cyprus Keeps Banks Closed and Scrambles to Find Funds

By LIZ ALDERMAN and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
One proposal would nationalize pension funds from state-run companies and hold an emergency bond sale in an effort to raise €5.8 billion.

South Korean Banks and Broadcasters Hit by Possible Cyberattack

By CHOE SANG-HUN
The police were investigating the possibility of a North Korean cyberattack on Wednesday as the South Korean government braced for more possible disruption.
Opinion

Op-Ed Contributor

Mixed Expectations

By YOSSI ALPHER
The U.S. president says he's coming to listen, but he won't hear much about the peace process.
World

Video: Symbolic Visit

The Times's Isabel Kershner on what Israelis expect from a visit by President Obama.
WORLD

Arriving in Israel, Obama Seeks to Offer Reassurance

By MARK LANDLER and JODI RUDOREN
President Obama traveled to Israel for the first time in his presidency, bearing a message of solidarity and defense against threats.

Many Israelis Unsure of Obama, but Are Ready to Listen During Visit

By JODI RUDOREN and ISABEL KERSHNER
During a visit to Israel, President Obama will confront a public still smarting from perceived slights in years past.

For Some Palestinians, Wariness on Eve of Obama Visit

By JODI RUDOREN
No American flags or banners to greet President Obama in the West Bank, but some protests have begun; on most posters, Mr. Obama's face has been painted over or torn off.
BUSINESS

Surprise Demand for Housing Catches Industry Off-Guard

By CATHERINE RAMPELL
In many areas, home builders face production delays because of the difficulty in finding construction workers and in obtaining permits.

'Tonight' Show Expected to Return to New York, With Fallon

By BILL CARTER
An always-fractious changing of the guard on the late-night show will this time be accompanied by a change of scenery.

Fed Maintains Rates and Strategy

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
The central bank affirmed that it would keep up its existing efforts to stimulate the economy, even though it expected a return to moderate growth.
TECHNOLOGY

U.S. Said to Look Into Microsoft Bribery Allegations

By NICK WINGFIELD
The S.E.C. and Justice Department are investigating accusations involving the company in China, Italy and Romania, a person briefed on the matter said.

Oracle's New Software Sales Fall and Stock Slumps

By REUTERS
Oracle posted a 2 percent drop in new software sales and Internet-based software subscriptions to $2.3 billion in its fiscal third quarter, missing its own forecasts and sending its shares sharply lower.

Justices Permit Resale of Copyrighted Imports

By ADAM LIPTAK
The court ruled that owners of goods from overseas can do what they like with them, just as they can with those bought in the United States.
SPORTS

In Vietnam, Resources for Sports Are Lacking, but Passion Isn't

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
A trip through Vietnam will show you that even if a country doesn't have thriving pro leagues or much money, it still enjoys playing -- and watching -- athletic pursuits.
Rangers 3, Devils 2

Both Needing a Win, the Rangers Top the Devils

By JEFF Z. KLEIN
Rick Nash's second-period goal and Henrik Lundqvist's stout netminding gave the Rangers a desperately needed victory and boosted them to eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Dominican Republic 3, Puerto Rico 0

World-Class Pitching Carries Undefeated Dominicans to Title

By TYLER KEPNER
Samuel Deduno and four relievers held Puerto Rico to three hits in the final as the Dominican Republic won all eight of its games in the World Baseball Classic.
U.S. NEWS

Head of Colorado's Prisons Is Fatally Shot at Home

By JACK HEALY
The killing of Tom Clements, executive director of the Department of Corrections, cast a shadow on the signing of stiffer state gun control measures.

Young Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage Fight On

By ASHLEY PARKER
Foreseeing a long battle like the one over abortion, conservatives in their 20s and 30s say they must argue in favor of traditional marriage, not against gay rights.

G.O.P. Opposition to Immigration Law Is Falling Away

By ASHLEY PARKER and MICHAEL D. SHEAR
A scramble by leading Republican lawmakers to halt a loss of support among Hispanic voters is providing strong momentum for an immigration overhaul.
OPINION
Op-Ed Contributor

It's Up to Obama

By MUSTAFA BARGHOUTHI
The United States has the power to end Israeli intransigence, ease Palestinian suffering and break the political deadlock.
Op-Ed Columnist

Democrats, Dragons or Drones?

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Iraq might seem to have been the last place in the Middle East we should have tried to help establish a democracy, but it was the most important.

Wall Street At Close Report March 20, 2013.: U.S. stocks rise after getting Fed’s all-clear

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 
 
NEW YORK (MarketWatch)U.S. stocks climbed Wednesday, with the S&P 500 snapping its first three-day losing run this year, after the Federal Reserve said it would continue to support the U.S. economy.

After rallying 91 points to a new intraday high of 14,546.82, which also lifted it above its all-time closing peak of 14,539.14, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.39% finished at 14,511.73, up 55.91 points, or 0.4%.

Bernanke: Bond buying to continue
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gives his outlook on the U.S. economy during a news conference after interest rates were left unchanged. 

The S&P 500 index SPX +0.67% added 10.37 points, or 0.7%, to 1,558.71, leaving it 6.44 points from its all-time closing high, hit in October 2007. Consumer companies led the gains among its 10 major industry groups. 

The Federal Reserve maintained its policies on bond purchases and record-low interest rates, projecting “a return to moderate economic growth following a pause late last year.” 

“There is a safety net called the Fed that is under the market now, and when that is taken away, the market could run into some white water, but we think that comes later this year,” said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Cincinnati. 

At his news conference, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he did not find anything out of line with the stock market’s climb, citing growing optimism about the economy. 

“Our target this year for the S&P is 1,625, so there’s a 5% upside from yesterday’s close. We don’t think it’s going to be a straight line up, there will be volatility, but we are cautiously optimistic,” David Allon, a senior financial professional at FirsTrust Financial Resources LLC. 

“This directly aligns with what Bernanke said today. He said that with unemployment elevated, the sequester as well as the elimination of the payroll-tax deduction, these factors are major fiscal drags on the economy, and the Fed is working with that in mind,” Allon added.

Cyprus keeps running to Russia
A look at the relationship that has built up between Russia and Cyprus since communism fell. The problem now is whether this undermines the country’s membership with the euro zone. Photo: Reuters

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP +0.78% climbed 25.09 points, or 0.8%, to 3,254.18.
For every stock that fell, nearly three gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where almost 673 million shares traded. 

Composite volume cleared 3.3 billion.

FedEx Corp. FDX -0.15% shares slumped 6.9% after the economic bellwether reduced its 2013 earnings forecast as more customers resorted to less costly options. 

Adobe Systems Inc. ADBE +4.20% gained 4.2% after the software maker reported sales and profit that topped expectations.

A key factor for Wall Street as it moves into the second quarter is the pace and timing of the Fed’s backing away from its $85 billion a month quantitative-easing commitment. 

Europe also remains a factor for markets, with an updated proposal that sought to soften a controversial tax on bank deposits in Cyprus outright rejected by the island nation’s parliament on Tuesday. Read MarketWatch’s live stream on Cyprus.
 
The European Central Bank said it would provide liquidity to Cyprus, where banks are closed until Tuesday, giving the European Union more time to get the upper hand on a rescue. Here’s what could happen next with Cyprus.
 

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures GCJ3 -0.14%  fell and oil prices CLJ3 +1.17% gained, with the former off $3.80, or 0.2%, to 1,607.50 an ounce and the latter rising 80 cents, or 0.9%, to $92.96 a barrel.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @MWKateGibson.





DealBook P.M. Edition March 20, 2012.: White Collar Watch: With Freddie Mac Suit, Banks Face Billions More in Libor Claims


NYTimes.com Home |Business Day| Video The New York Times


Wednesday, March 20, 2013
TOP STORY
White Collar Watch: With Freddie Mac Suit, Banks Face Billions More in Libor Claims Peter J. Henning says that unlike other plaintiffs, Freddie Mac looks to have a strong case because it dealt directly with many of the banks accused of manipulating Libor.


DEALBOOK HIGHLIGHTS
Barclays Bankers Cash In on Past Bonuses The British bank disclosed on Wednesday that its investment banking head, Rich Ricci, had cashed in $26 million of deferred shares.
From Morgan Stanley, Investing in Women on Corporate Boards A team within Morgan Stanley's wealth management division is starting a new portfolio that seeks to invest in companies that have demonstrated a commitment to including women on their boards.
With JPMorgan Settlement, MF Global Clients Move Closer to Payout MF Global customers moved a step closer to recouping their missing money when JPMorgan Chase released its claim to more than $500 million belonging to the bankrupt brokerage firm.
American Realty Capital Offers to Buy Cole Credit for $5.7 Billion American Realty Capital Properties has offered to buy Cole Credit Property Trust III for $5.7 billion, and in a letter it urged Cole Credit's board to call off the proposed acquisition of its adviser, Cole Holdings.
Deal Makers Prepare for a Feast As deal makers prepare for a merger conference in New Orleans, a Brunswick Group survey shows that 97 percent of advisers expect an increase in deals this year in North America.
Deutsche Bank Cuts 2012 Profit, As Legal Costs Rise Deutsche Bank set aside an additional $780 million to cover legal problems, sharply reducing its net profit for 2012 to $376 million.
Breakingviews: All the Plan B's for Cyprus Look Dreadful Hugh Dixon say that every day that the banks stay shut, the people of Cyprus may begin to appreciate the advantages of doing a deal with the euro zone.
LOOKING AHEAD
Economic Reports Data to be released on Thursday include weekly jobless claims, existing home sales for February, the Philadelphia Fed index for March and leading economic indicators for February.
Corporate Earnings Companies scheduled to release quarterly earnings statements on Thursday include ConAgra Foods and Nike.
In the United States On Thursday, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will conduct a hearing about innovation and regulation in health information technologies, and a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will conduct a hearing about the steel industry.
For the latest updates, go to dealbook.nytimes.com »
Quotation of the Day
"It just seemed to make sense, given I'm a feminist and an investment adviser."
Eve Ellis, a financial adviser with Morgan Stanley who is starting a new portfolio to invest in companies that have demonstrated a commitment to including women on their corporate boards.


Corrected Headline: ADVFN III Word Daily Markets Bulletin March 20, 2013.


ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial news Wednesday, 20 March 2013

US Market
Stocks See Initial Strength Despite Uncertainty

Despite uncertainty about Cyprus and the U.S. Federal Reserve, stocks moved notably higher at the start of trading on Wednesday. The major averages all showed strong moves to the upside after ending the previous session mixed.

The major averages have pulled back off their highs for the young session in the past few minutes but remain in positive territory. The Dow is up 65.35 points or 0.5 percent at 14,521.17, the Nasdaq is up 17.47 points or 0.5 percent at 3,246.57 and the S&P 500 is up 8.10 points or 0.5 percent at 1,556.44.

The early strength on Wall Street comes even as traders keep a close eye on developments in Cyprus after the Mediterranean island nation's parliament rejected a proposed European Union bailout plan that would tax bank deposits.

Traders may be expressing optimism that Cyprus will eventually reach an agreement to avoid default even if it means looking to Russia for a new loan instead of the EU.

"Cyprus will either find new (Russian) sources of capital or it will agree to a slightly modified rescue package," Commerzbank economists Jörg Krämer and Christoph Weil said in a research note. "No one can rule out the possibility of negotiations failing again though."

Traders are also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's announcement of its latest monetary policy decision at about 2 pm ET. The announcement will be followed by a press conference by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

While the Fed is widely expected to maintain its existing policy, traders will be looking for any indications of when the central bank intends to start winding down its quantitative easing program.

Housing stocks have shown a strong upward move in early trading, driving the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index up by 1.2 percent. With the gain, the index has risen to its best intraday level in well over five years.

Telecom, software, and pharmaceutical stocks are also seeing early strength, although most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves to the upside.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance on Wednesday, with the Japanese market closed for a public holiday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 1 percent, while Australia's All Ordinaries Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back some ground after moving notably higher over the past few sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 4 basis points at 1.948 percent.

Canadian Market
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TSX Up At Open Wednesday

Toronto stocks moved up at open Wednesday amid marginal buying across a variety of sectors, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index adding 33.08 points or 0.26 percent to 12, 806.95.

The Diversified Materials Index rose over 1 percent, with Teck Resources and First Quantum Minerals adding nearly 2 percent each. Inmet Mining edged up 0.50 percent.

In the oil patch, Imperial Oil, Husky Energy and Tourmaline Oil were up about 1 percent each. Among gold stocks, Alamos Gold Inc. gathered nearly 2 percent. Smartphone maker Research In Motion gained about 7 percent.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. moved up over 1 percent after it said it would acquire all of the outstanding shares of Obagi Medical Products Inc. for $19.75 per share cash

Medical diagnostics & research company TearLab Corp. surged over 4 percent after reporting a wider fourth-quarter net loss

The price of crude oil was moving higher Wednesday morning as traders await cues from the official inventories data from the EIA. Today during trading hours, the EIA will release its U.S. crude oil inventories report for the weekended March 15. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to gain by 2 million barrels, while gasoline stocks are expected to decline 2.1 million barrels last week.

Crude for May delivery gained $0.70 to $93.22 a barrel.

The price of gold was ticking lower flat Wednesday morning, with the US dollar little changed ahead of the outcome of the two-day FOMC meeting, later today. Gold for April edged down $4.10 to $1,607.20 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, home improvement retailer Rona Inc. said that it has appointed Robert Sawyer as President and CEO, effective in April. Before joining Rona, Sawyer was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Canadian grocer Metro Inc.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Obagi Medical Products Inc. for $19.75 per share cash, representing a 28 percent premium to Obagi's closing share price on March 19, 2013, the last trading day prior to announcement.

Mexico focused gold miner Timmins Gold Corp. reported fourth quarter earnings of $12 million, up slightly from the prior-year earnings of $11.53 million. Earnings per share edged up to $0.09 from $0.08 last year.

Medical diagnostics & research company TearLab Corp. reported that its fourth-quarter net loss was about $3.7 million, or $0.13 per share, compared to a net loss of $3.5 million, or $0.17 per share In last year's fourth quarter. Analysts expected the company to report a loss of $0.10 per share

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European Markets Advance After Cyprus Rejects Deposit Tax

The European markets are mostly in positive territory on Wednesday, after Cyprus' Parliament on Tuesday rejected a proposed levy on bank deposits in return for a 10 billion euros European bailout, putting the rescue deal in shambles. Lawmakers voted 36-0 to reject the bill, while the ruling party abstained.

Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also the Dutch Finance Minister, said the EU stands ready to help Cyprus, provided it adheres to the bailout conditions.

The European Central Bank, in a brief statement on Tuesday, said it would provide liquidity for Cypriot banks, "as needed within the existing rules."

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and two other policymakers voted to increase the quantitative easing, while other six members said further stimulus will raise inflationary risk, the minutes of the meeting held on March 6 and 7 showed Wednesday.

As seen in February, King, Paul Fisher and David Miles sought an increase in asset purchases by 25 billion pounds to a total 400 billion pounds. Meanwhile, all other members voted to retain the asset purchase programme at 375 billion pounds.

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will deliver his annual budget to Parliament today. Osborne is expected to stand by his deficit reduction plans, dismissing calls for tax cuts and increased spending.

The number of people claiming job seekers' allowance in the U.K. declined in February, but to a lesser extent than expected, data released by the Office for National Statistics showed. Total unemployment rose for the first time in a year in the three months through January as more young people remained out of work.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.76 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is gaining 0.38 percent.

The German DAX and the French CAC 40 are up around 0.4 percent and Switzerland's SMI is advancing 0.6 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 erased early gains and is fractionally lower now..

In Frankfurt, Bayer is gaining 2.5 percent and HeidelbergCement is rising 2.2 percent.

Commerzbank is up around 1 percent. Deutsche Bank is adding 0.5 percent after stating that higher litigation provisions have reduced its pre-tax income and net income for 2012.

ThyssenKrupp is falling 1.8 percent, thus leading the decliners on the index.

Air Berlin is down 1.5 percent. The airline has decided to realign the entire group and plans to eliminate around 900 jobs.

Metro is declining 3.4 percent. The company's annual profit dropped and the dividend was cut.

Dialog Semiconductor was raised to ''Buy'' from ''Hold'' at Berenberg. The stock is surging over 8 percent.

In Paris, Essilor International is gaining 1.7 percent and Sanofi is adding 1.5 percent.

Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas are advancing 1.5 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. Societe Generale is adding 0.6 percent.

In London, Sainsbury is gaining 1.6 percent, following a broker upgrade. Elementis is gaining 2.7 percent after a positive broker recommendation. Evraz is losing close to 4 percent and Aviva is falling 2.4 percent.

Eurasian Natural Resources is dropping 1.8 percent. The miner slipped to a loss in its fiscal 2012 and decided not to declare a final dividend.

Dufry is gaining 3.2 percent in Zurich. The stock was upgraded to ''Buy'' from ''Neutral'' at UBS.

Asia Market
Asian Markets Exhibit Mixed Trend

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Wednesday with investors mostly treading cautiously amid renewed worries about the financial situation in the eurozone.

After a weak start and a subsequent fall to lower levels, the Australian market recovered some lost ground with investors indulging in some buying in some blue chip stocks.

Mining stocks are leading the fall, with the Metals & Mining index declining by 2.4 percent. Energy, consumer discretionary and healthcare stocks are also mostly trading weak. Financial and industrial stocks are trading lower as well.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which declined to 4,937.5, is currently trading at 4,971.7, down 15.7 points or 0.3 percent from its previous close. The broader All Ordinaries index is down 18.7 points or 0.4 percent at 4,985.7, nearly 30 points off the day's low of 4,956.4.

Among top miners, BHP Billiton (BHP) is down 2.3 percent, Rio Tinto (RIO) is losing about 2.6 percent and Fortescue Metals is down nearly 3.2 percent, while Newcrest Mining is bucking the trend and trading 0.7 percent up.

In the energy sector, Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy, Caltex Australia and Oil Search are down 0.6 to 1.1 percent, while Santos is trading in positive territory with a gain of 0.6 percent.

Among bank stocks, ANZ Bank (ANZ), National Australia Bank and Westpac (WBK) are up 0.5 to 0.7 percent, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia is trading flat. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland are down 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Sims Metal Management is down more than 4 percent. Atlas Iron, Arrium, PanAust, Aurora Oil & Gas and Iluka Resources are down 2.5 to 3 percent.

Bluescope Steel, Oz Minerals, Toll Holdings, WorleyParsons, Carsales.Com, ALS and Echo Entertainment Group are trading lower by 1.8 to 2.4 percent.

Shares of retailer David Jones Limited are up 3.7 percent despite an announcement from the company that its first-half profit declined 14 percent in challenging trading conditions.

Treasury Wine Estates is up nearly 5 percent. Amcor is adding 2.6 percent and Asciano is up 2.7 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar opened lower against the U.S. dollar. In early trades, the local unit was quoted at US$1.0363, down from Tuesday's close of US$1.0380.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand are trading higher, while Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are trading in negative territory with modest losses. The Japanese market is closed for Vernal Equinox holiday.

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U.S. Crude Oil Inventories Down Last Week - EIA

Crude oil and gasoline inventories in the U.S. moved down during the week ended March 15, official data showed Wednesday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration in its weekly crude oil report said U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 1.30 million barrels to 382.70 million barrels last week, but are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

The week before, crude oil inventories increased 2.60 million barrels to 384.00 million barrels.

Moreover, total motor gasoline inventories moved down by 1.50 million barrels last week, after shedding by 3.60 million barrels in the prior week, but remained in the middle of the average range.

Analysts were expecting crude oil inventories to rise 2.00 million barrels, while gasoline stocks are seen shedding 2.10 million barrels last week.

Late Tuesday, data from the API revealed that U.S. crude oil inventories shed 413,000 barrels and gasoline stocks were up 278,000 barrels in the week ended March 15.

Oil refinery inputs averaged over 14.50 million barrels per day during the week, which were 520,000 barrels per day above the previous week's average as refineries operated at 83.50 percent of their operable capacity.

Meantime, U.S. crude oil imports during the week averaged over 7.30 million barrels per day last week, down by 218,000 barrels per day from the previous week, official data revealed. Over the last four weeks, imports have averaged over 7.50 million barrels per day, which were 1.2 million barrels per day below the same four-week period last year.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for May delivery are adding $0.36 to $92.86 a barrel.

Gold Flat Ahead Of FOMC

Gold was trading flat Wednesday morning, with the US dollar little changed ahead of the outcome of the two-day FOMC meeting, later today.

Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, eased $1.30 to $1,610.00 an ounce. Yesterday, gold settled above the $1,600-mark for a second session as investors continued to seek the safe haven appeal of the precious metal with increased anxiety over the upcoming vote in the Cyprus parliament on the bailout package from international lenders. The aid package includes a controversial proposal to tax deposits in Cyprus banks, which may also signal the beginning of similar imposition on aid sought by other nations.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, edged up for the first time in nearly two months to 1,222.16 tons from 1,219.45 tons.